In the newest episode of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU, Benson and Amaro interview the distraught parents of a missing Romani child who disappeared on his way home from school, who are distrustful of the police. The initial investigation leads Fin and Rollins to the powerful leader of the Romani community, but he denies any involvement. The family remains hopeful their boy will be found, especially after they discover his cell phone is still active. With the help of a new TARU tech and a meddling newspaper reporter, the detectives narrow the perpetrators to a mentally challenged neighbor, throwing the tight-knit Romani community into turmoil.
The seriousness of the episode was broken by the appearance of TARU Tech Leo Gerber, played by Gilbert Gottfried. While I find Gottfried a humorous person, this was a casting misstep, one that rivals the casting of Noel Fisher as the equally annoying TARU Tech and murderer Dale Stuckey. Gottfried’s voice is grating (it works very well when he is doing humor) and it made his acting abilities even worse. This is one character that I am not looking forward to seeing again. In Gottfried’s defense, he gave them what they seemed to have wanted; he can’t help it that someone tried to write in a lame comedy interlude into this otherwise serious episode. Casting does get extra points for bringing in former cast member Dean Winters’ brother Scott to play a smarmy detective.
Olivia and Nick are called in by a cop who is very unsympathetic toward Nikko and his “gypsy” parents. The parents say their son was something of a loner. His teacher backs this up, but fellow students aren’t too sympathetic. The father, Thomas, was charged in an altercation with a coworker, but the lead eventually brings a man named Rombaro into focus. Nikko’s parents had been paying him, but stopped shortly before the kidnapping. He’s an interesting character, but claims he couldn’t harm Nikko.
Watch Law and Order SVU – Lost Traveler Online
Law and Order S13E09: Lost Traveler
Unlike previous episodes this season, this episode did not suffer from pacing problems or the feeling of too many useless bodies in the room. I will admit that the interrogation room scene with the reporter didn’t need the inclusion of Linus Roache’s character but his presence did keep things concise and moving forward. Too many times in the past, there have been episodes that felt like they took too long to get to the main story or had scenes that went on for too long. This episode did an excellent job of pacing itself while still including every little detail detrimental to the ending reveal of the case. Speaking of the ending, I was completely shocked that it was the two girls who did it. Before that, I thought it would have been the teacher or the bully after they dismissed Mark but now looking in retrospect the girls where just a little too close to the case for them to be purely innocent. However, the detectives did catch a lucky break in the first place by just coincidentally running into one of their fathers while he was walking through the neighborhood.
And is it just me or is it some rite of passage that when any female lead character is added to the cast of any Law & Order brand show that at some point some guy has to say something like “oh, she’s pretty AND smart too!” In this case, it was a comment a detective made to Fin about Rollins. While I am on the subject of Rollins, I have some issues with Kelli Giddish – or maybe it is how she is playing Rollins – and she just doesn’t quite fit. One thing that may help – get rid of her constant use of “Lookee here.” I know that Rollins is supposed to be from Georgia, but seriously now, “lookee here” makes her sound as thick as a brick. I also felt that the argument between Rollins and Amaro seemed too forced. It is as if they are trying to put a square peg into a round hole with Giddish.
Olivia makes a major misstep with the parents and turns them against her. At the station, Nick has doubts about Mark while Amanda is convinced he’s guilty. So does Nikko’s mother, who tries to set him on fire. However, she somehow knows about the burns on Nikko’s body. Suspicions then turn to those two girls, Emma and Courtney, who’ve been tipping them off to Mark all the way. It turns out Courtney killed Nikko before working her way into Mark’s basement room, molesting him, and setting him up. She’s totally unsympathetic about killing Nikko because of who he is.
At Alonso’s Bicycles, Alonso said the kid is not there and tells Fin and Rollins to go check. Fin asks about the fight 3 months ago and Alonso says Tomas has trouble and he brought this on himself. Detective Dumas arrives and tells Fin they call him “Doom” and tells them he heard they needed a tour guide. Dumas tells Alonso to think harder and while he is thinking he will go over every bike and makes sure none of them got separated from a chain by accident. He tells him to take what he wants. Dumas presses that they think this is a scam and asks if Tomas stole his own kid, with Rollins adding this is his last chance. Dumas asks him if this is about the Rom-Baro and when Alonso gets up and walks off, Fin asks what the hell is a Rom-Baro?
In the end, this was a nice little episode to prove that this show still has the means to support its longevity. Every character in this story was compelling to watch and kept drawing me in closer. We saw different factions of certain characters that helped as we watched this story unfold as well as we delve deeper into the personal turmoils of our main detectives. It also brought forth the first big perp reveal at the close of the episode of the season.
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